Where is the authority?
I was reflecting about the paper played by authority in social structures across the history until I get to the conclussion that, in nowadays society, it has dissapeared, at least from a traditional point of view.
When it’s analyzed, in past systems such as feudalism, absolutism or in the early years of capitalism, there had always existed a figure that represented the authority (the patron, the king, etc.) and individuals could choose wether obey or not. If one decided to revolt, he could do it against a real person, against someone and, eventually, if many others decided the same, they could make fall that authority and the whole system behind it. But nowadays, is this a posibility?
Who is the authority in modern society? Some might answer the public order forces, but those just control that people follow some coexistence rules in most of the cases, they don’t tell people what they have to do, they don’t determinate their life. Maybe the authority lies on politicians, bankers or directors of big companies. This can make sense at first, but if we look at it closely, then will notice that this groups haven’t a different life from people belonging to lower groups, they only have more buying power, but live inside the system like any other. So, where is the authority then? The answer is pretty simple: it has diluted, has dissapeared, has turned anonymous… the authority is the system itself. We’ve invented an economic macro-structure and become slaves of our own creation, even the top social groups. Day by day, we get up, go to work, buy things we don’t need, go to have fun to the same places and, at the end, this doesn’t make anyone happy. Then why do we do it? Because it’s our ‘duty’, but we are not told to do it. We’ve internalized the system demands until make us ‘ours’. Blinded by alienation and conformity, we can’t realize that we’re trapped inside a macro-structure that has scaped from our control and become a monster. Its aim is the development of economy, but what is the goal of this? Towards what does society walk? This question hasn’t got an answer, because, after all, the system is completely irrational, it only grows wildly, without any real purpose. And, obviously, this situation cannot continue indefinitely. A structure in which humans are means to an end will destroy us. But the most devastating conclusion is that there isn’t any posibilities of change because, if the authority has become anonymous, nobody can revolt against nobody.
I’ve described here this problem in a simple and informal way. Obviously, it is much more complex and many other reasonings and conclusions can be applied and obtained, but it wasn’t my aim to show all of them here.